January Festival 2013

12 – 20 January 2013

To celebrate Britten’s 100th birthday we staged performances of his works alongside Bridge (who taught him), Purcell and Schubert (who he loved). We also invited the Gildas Quartet to take part in the first weekend of the festival.

2013 Festival Artists

Piano Simon Crawford-Phillips, Alasdair Beatson, Daniel Tong, Joseph Tong
Violin Malin Broman, Arisa Fujita, Matthew Truscott, Tom Hankey, Laura Samuel, Florence Cooke, Malin William-Olson
Viola William Coleman, Tom Dunn
Cello Robin Michael, Alice Neary, Amy Norrington, Guy Johnston, Kate Gould, Richard Lester
2013 Resident Quartet The Celan Quartet

Saturday 12 January, Bishop’s Palace, Hereford

3pm

Schubert String Trio in B flat, D 581
Matthew Truscott, Tom Dunn, Robin Michael

Bridge Cello Sonata
Kate Gould, Joseph Tong

Britten String Quartet No. 1
Gildas Quartet

5.15pm

Pre-concert talk by Richard Wigmore on Britten’s Cello Suite no. 3

6pm

Schubert Variations on an Original Theme for Piano Duet, D 813
Joseph Tong and Daniel Tong

Britten Cello Suite no. 3
Robin Michael

Sunday 13 January, St Briavels Church

3.15pm

Pre-concert talk by Richard Wigmore on Britten & Early English music

Purcell Works for strings
Matthew Truscott, Tom Hankey, Tom Dunn, Robin Michael

Britten Lachrymae; Reflections on a Song of Dowland
Tom Dunn, Daniel Tong

Schubert Sonatina for Violin and Piano in A minor, D 385
Florence Cooke, Daniel Tong

Bridge Phantasie Piano Trio
Laura Samuel, Kate Gould, Daniel Tong

Thursday 17 January, Treowen Manor

5.30pm

Open rehearsal

7pm

Drinks & Canapés

7.30pm

Berg String Quartet, op.3
Celan Quartet

Schubert String Quintet in C, D 956
Matthew Truscott, Laura Samuel, William Coleman, Alice Neary, Amy Norrington

Saturday 19 January, Treowen Manor
Discovery Day – Music of the Great War Years

11am – 6pm 

Bartók String Quartet no. 2
Tom Hankey, Matthew Truscott, Tom Dunn, Robin Michael

Ravel Piano Trio in A minor
Alasdair Beatson, Malin William-Olson, Robin Michael

Catoire Piano Quartet, op.31
Alasdair Beatson, Malin Broman, Tom Hankey, Richard Lester

Debussy Cello Sonata
Richard Lester, Daniel Tong

Debussy Violin Sonata
Laura Samuel, Daniel Tong

Elgar Piano Quintet in A minor, op.84
Daniel Tong, Malin William-Olson, Florence Cooke, Cian O’Duill, Alice Neary

Sunday 20 January, Hellens Manor
Fin de Siècle Paris

1pm

Fauré Piano Quartet in G minor, op.45
Daniel Tong, Arisa Fujita, Tom Dunn, Guy Johnston

Chausson Piano Quartet in A, op.30
Simon Crawford-Phillips, Laura Samuel, William Coleman, Amy Norrington

3.15pm

Pre-concert talk on Enescu’s String Octet by Stephen Walsh

4pm

Ravel String Quartet in F
Arisa Fujita, Florence Cooke, Cian O’Duill, Kate Gould

Saint-Saëns Piano Trio in E minor, op.92
Simon Crawford-Phillips, Arisa Fujita, Guy Johnston

Enescu String Octet in C, op.7
Malin Broman, Matthew Truscott, William Coleman, Amy Norrington & the Celan Quartet

Festival Impressions

by David Butler

In January, it was certainly better to arrive than to travel hopefully – through weather conditions that thwarted all but the true fanatic. But having arrived, there were some wonderful performances and memories for the audience to the Wye Valley Chamber Music’s 2013 Festival.

This year’s programme was as broad and varied as previously, and managed to celebrate the Britten centenary with real ingenuity, by the inclusion of three composers of particular significance to him – Purcell, Schubert and Frank Bridge.

The pre-concert talk on Purcell, by Richard Wigmore, at St Briavels opened up a new range of discovery and interest for someone for whom ‘music starts with J S Bach’. At that concert, Tom Dunn and Daniel Tong’s performance of Britten’s Lachrymae, with its long delayed statement of the theme, showed that Britten can be as emotionally charged as any other British composer. The concluding Bridge Phantasie Piano Trio was again delivered with strong emotions and real passion – another ‘find’.

On Thursday, at Treowen, the special character of the Festival was confirmed. The rehearsal of the Ravel Trio offered a new perspective on the work, its structure and difficulty. The evening concert was our first chance to hear both the Berg Quartet and its intrepid players; their youth a feature that was visible but not audible. For the performance of the Schubert String Quintet, the Festival programme showed a stellar cast that lived up to all expectations, with the venue adding its own intimacy to such a large and special piece.

By the final concerts on Sunday, the weather was a few notches better than severe, and so the two events attracted a good turn-out in a warm venue. The Ravel Quartet was a highlight, with a ladies-only line-up of players. (A non-sexist comment on a reality – that could, perhaps, be stated more elegantly)

Another helpful introduction from Stephen Walsh provided some necessary landmarks in the unfamiliar landscape of Enesco’s chamber works. The performance, by the combined forces of the quartet of young players and the experienced regulars, brought the event to an exhilarating conclusion.

2013 will always be remembered for the snow, the journeys to the later events, and the chance to tick off Catoire in the Concert-Goer’s Spotters Guide. But the highlight? The absolute silence between the notes in the Schubert Quintet!